Monkayo, Davao de Oro – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau XI (MGBXI) conducted its most recent monitoring of the Naboc River Rehabilitation in Monkayo, Davao de Oro in October 15, 2021 to ensure proper implementation of the Rehabilitation Master Plan and compliance with the set terms and conditions to permittees.

The Naboc River Rehabilitation is a project between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region XI (DENR XI) and Local Government Unit of Davao de Oro (LGU) via Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) executed in 2019. This aims at addressing Mercury contamination and pollution of the Naboc River.

Actual dredging having been launched in April 2021, MGB XI together with the Provincial Task Force Naboc River closely monitored the initial run and fine-tuning of the mercury recovery facility. Sediment sampling had been conducted to check the presence of mercury in the processed sand and gravel and laboratory test show a significant decrease in mercury levels in the sediment samples after processing.

Since September 1, 2021, full swing operation is ongoing subject to strict monitoring by the different government agencies concerned. About 61 Cease and Desist Orders against illegal mineral processors in Mt. Diwata were also issued by MGB and served on September 6 to10, 2021 to ensure that further pollution of the river is also prevented, in relation to the rehabilitation project.

“The Naboc River Rehabilitation and Dredging Project is a testament that with collaboration, cooperation and consensus, we can do something great. The joint action of the Provincial Task Force Naboc River, the LGU, and all other stakeholders with the guidance of the DENR leadership, dredging and rehabilitation of this polluted river is now in full swing.”, says MGBXI Regional Director Atty. Jasper Alberto H. Lascano, ENP, CESO V.

“We will also continue to monitor the rehabilitation project and we are thankful to our DENR leadership for their unwavering support to this program.”, Atty. Lascano adds.

Based on estimates, the dredging program may take at least eight years and water and sediment quality shall be regularly monitored to ensure compliance to set environmental standards.